Stranger, Korean Drama series (2017)

Okay, I’m going to start this review with a small confession. No worries, it really isn’t anything as shocking along the lines of ” I am really a serial killer”. But, here it comes nonetheless: I can be a really emotional guy. When there is injustice I can become really annoyed, and sometimes even very angry. But on the other side of the spectrum I can also cry at things that happen in a movie, or even at certain very personal blog posts. But really don’t hold that against me, okay? Emotions, or lack thereof, can tell a lot about a person. It pretty much defines what makes a person tick, at least that is what I think in my humble opinion. I have always wondered what would happen if I would possess no kind of emotion whatsoever. Let’s just take a few seconds and try to grasp what that means. You would not know when to laugh at a joke. When someone close to you dies, you would shed no tears. Even though there are certain moments in your life you maybe would have loved to lose a few emotions, I for one would never want to lose any of them. Because it would completely change my personality. And that, in a roundabout way brings me to this Korean drama.

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Get used to it: that expression on the face of the guy is pretty much the only one he knows. 

Prosecutor Hwang Shi-Mok underwent a brain surgery as a child. This surgery has now caused him to lack any kind of emotion. He is a cold, calculated and very rational guy, that is very good at his job. His lack of empathy and social skills however, make it extremely hard for him to sometimes interact with other people. One day while investigating a new case, he finds the person he is looking into dead in his house. When the police arrives at the scene Shi-Mok doesn’t communicate with any of them, but instead focusses on finding the killer. This suspicious behaviour at first makes him a suspect. Police inspector Han Yeo-Jin is the one who is assigned the task of solving the case, and soon finds out that Hwang is innocent of the crime. Eventually the two of them team up to find the real killer. But when they find the alleged murderer, it soon becomes very clear that there is more to the case then both of them realise. A cesspool of corruption has been opened, one that is so deep that it goes to the highest levels of the justice department. Dark and dirty secrets are about to be revealed, and some people will stop at nothing to keep them buried….

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Run Forrest, run…..

Having just finished this Korean drama I have to say it has left me behind with mixed feelings. I certainly would not call this series bad, but there are certain things that I also didn’t like and that at the end kept me from really enjoying this to the fullest. As far as the story goes I have to say that it is incredibly complex containing many layers, and one could argue that it contains too many layers. Part murder mystery, part legal drama, with elements of corporate espionage, corruption and even soap opera thrown into the mix, Stranger has at times trouble in deciding what it wants to be. There were some truly intense and incredibly powerful moments in the show that really put a smile on my face. Some twists and turns where certainly unexpected, and added to the fun of watching this series. But then there were also episodes that were, for lack of a better word, rather dull, and just seemed to drag on and on. The story as mentioned is incredibly complex and because of it’s complexity there were moments where I lost track of things.

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Look at my fist: I have got your emotions right here! 

This last fact was only made even worse because of the huge number of characters that this drama contains. I usually don’t like shows or novels that contain such a huge cast of names that it becomes hard to remember who a certain person was. But despite that fact it’s the acting in this series that really is one of it’s strongest points. Hwang Shi-Mok, played by Cho Seung-Woo is a character that is hard to grow attached to. Because of his lack of emotions he walks around the series with pretty much the same expression on his face at every scene. At first this becomes very tedious, but then I started to realise what a brilliant job the actor is really doing. It is incredibly hard to just not respond emotionally to people that are laughing or crying. I came to really enjoy Shi-Mok’s awkwardness, especially around police detective Han Yeo-Jin. She was played by actress Bae Doo-Na and became my favorite character of the series. The complete opposite of Shi-Mok, she is a feisty and tenacious woman, who tries her best to solve the case but at the same time shows empathy when she needs to. And she is also in for a joke or two, often at the expense of her partner.

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Please don’t look at me that way: I won’t laugh anyway. 

Another thing that is worth mentioning is the music that supports this drama. It certainly ranks as the best background music I have heard in any Korean drama series to date, and helps bring the atmosphere of this series to life. In the end I can say that I do recommend the show. Even though there are certainly moments in it’s 16 episode run that really are pretty boring, there also enough things in it that balance the score in the end. The difficult and complex script, does eventually pay off, and the acting in the series alone is certainly worth watching it for. While there are definitely better dramas out there, it’s a good series if you are just willing to invest some time and patience in it. If you have become interested in the show after reading this, you can watch the series on Netflix. This concludes the first post for my theme month of Korean dramas. Thanks as always for reading and see you at the next post!

I give Stranger a 7 out of 10 score.

 

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45 thoughts on “Stranger, Korean Drama series (2017)”

  1. This looks like the kind of series I would love at first but then eventually lose interest towards the end? I love legal drama stuff though(and there aren’t enough of them out there), so I would like to check it out for that point alone.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. It is certainly a series that has very strong start, then slows down in the middle, only to pick up again near the end. It is definitely not bad though and if you like legal stuff, I think you will really enjoy this one 😊 If you do check it out, I hope you will enjoy it 😊

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Probably not something I’m wanting to jump in to watch but I’ll keep it in mind for one of those days when I’m flicking thorugh the streaming services just looking for something to binge.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yeah, I actually started this on a whim just flicking through the Netflix line up. Sometimes you discover some cool things in that way. While it certainly wasn’t a masterpiece it definitely wasn’t bad and overall quite entertaining 😊 Not too bad to keep in mind for a rainy day: that’s for sure 😊

      Liked by 3 people

    1. This is certainly not the show I would recommend to watch for your first Korean Dramaseries, that is for sure 😊 I am going to start on another this weekend that I am hoping will be a lot more interesting (as it contains fantasy elements 😊). Speaking of which: this one might be more to your liking: https://raistlin0903.wordpress.com/2017/05/20/goblin-korean-drama-series-2016/
      Thanks as always for your kind words, always appreciate them 😊

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, than you will probably become really happy when I say this contains no romance at all. There are a few moments in this series where the tension fades and there are these longwinded pieces of monologue that are a bit boring, but overall it’s a good enough series to enjoy. If you get to watch it, would love to hear your thoughts on it 😊 Thanks as always for your comment 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 😊 Haha, yeah the world of Korean dramas is a complete world in and of itself. There are literally hundreds of shows, so that can be a bit daunting. Netflix is doing a good job with providing some of them as well: like this one for instance 😊

      Liked by 3 people

  3. A detective show, awesome. 😀
    I’ll let you in on a little secret, I really like detective shows. From CSI to Sherlock Holmes, The Mentalist, Cold Case and Hawaii 5o, I enjoy them all. 😀
    Stranger sounds like another detective show I’d really like 😀 I must remember to add it to my list on Netflix hehe 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, those are certainly a couple of great shows to be watching. CSI and the mentalist especially.
      This one, although not only a detective series, has certainly some pretty cool elements in it that you will enjoy. I hope you will like the series when you get to it at some point. As always thanks for reading and for your comment always appreciate it 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m always up for a script that seems too into itself XD. This certainly does seem like one I can watch with my family, we recently finished Gab-Dong and they quite enjoyed that one. They usually go for the murder mystery ones or ones with an actor they enjoy like in Bad Guys since they saw Ma Dong-seok in Train to Busan. It is rather nice to sit the family down and enjoy television or cinema from other countries because it can be quite the nice change of pace compared to shows we have.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are some seriously cool Korean drama shows out there, and it’s cool to see that more and more people ate discovering them as well. Bad guys was a lot of fun by the way 😊
      This certainly is a series that pretty much everyone can enjoy. Even though it’s not a masterpiece, it really isn’t bad, and quite enjoyable. Hope you and your family will have fun with it 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. How brilliant does that poster look?!
    Anyway, I’ll be trying this one out, because the story line sounds like something I’d enjoy. A lot.

    No hints as to which drama next Rai-san?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That poster is very cool isn’t it? The story, even though very complex, is definitely one of it’s strong points. I hope you will enjoy it. If you can, inwould love to hear your thoughts for it 😊
      A hint huh…..hmmmm….just for you I will give a small hint….It will have supernatural elements in it, and the name of the series starts with a B and is only one word 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Yay! First kdrama review of the month 🙂 I was really looking forward to your review on this, and it was excellent. Deep inside Dramaland, this is a drama that is almost exclusively praised and was considered by many to be the best drama of 2018. Anything with even a hint of criticism seemed hard to come by.

    So I definitely felt out of place since I dropped it. I consider myself a fairly smart girl who usually wouldn’t mind intricate scripts, but this one was so heavy and boring for me. And as we discussed, I don’t really go for the emotionless guys who stay that way. I’m all about those stories where the emotionless learns to feel and love any day. But I knew this wasn’t that kind of story.

    And from what I knew, it didn’t sound likely I would ever warm up to it. And the way you describe it confirms that. Of course, someday if I’m ridiculously bored I might give it another go, but there are so many other things I could be watching, hehe. Again, wonderful review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did a little bit of research for this before starting to write my own review fir it, and I was seriously surprised by how high the ratings for this one were. I really did not understand it. Like you I felt a bit out of place thinking I might have missed something.
      Honestly, the show really did have a couple of highly brilliant moments that I quite enjoyed. But overall though, it was definitely not worthy of the high praise it seems to have gathered.
      The emotionless guy will grow on you though. There is a moment in some of the final episodes that really got to me and that really made me see the character in a different light.
      But that said, while I have no regrets in having seen this one, I don’t think that I am going to ever have an urge to see this one for a second time. So, I think you are definitely better off seeing a few other shows that’s for sure. As always thank you for the kind words 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey you amazing girl 😍 There really is absolutely no need to apologise whatsoever. I know that you have a lot of things going on at the moment, so really it’s just very kind of you to take some time to even place a comment. I hope you are doing okay.
      This drama is pretty okay, but trust me, there are much better ones out there. I have at least two more reviews coming up for two other Korean Dramas later this month. Hopefully one of those will be even better 😊😊 Thanks again for you kindness..and please take good care of yourself. 😘

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Gosh your openings to your reviews are always so *AMAZING*. ahh yes emotions- can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em 😉 Wow this does sound complex- I get why that would lose you at times though. This sounds like it was pretty well done! Awesome review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thanks again: that is so very nice of you to say so 😊 Yes this one at times became very complex. And one could argue it became way too complex. It was not a bad series, but as far as Korean dramaseries go, there are certainly better ones out there. And exactly: emotions can be a very complex thing as well 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Fantastic review, Michel. Got to say that I laughed at the captions you’ve had for these pictures! I love the sound of the story and its complexity, even with those dull moments. The lack of emotions thing definitely makes for a fascinating character too. It’s almost like Sherlock! I’m curious if the acting is up to par with the complexity of the story though. Definitely a nice discovery. Great review again, sir! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your incredibly kind and wonderful comment 😀
      Haha: glad you liked the captions. Honestly those are always the hardest things to do 😉
      This series certainly wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t the best Korean drama I have seen so far. There are much better series for sure. But the story even with all it’s problems is entertaining enough: and the high level of acting is worth alone checking it out for. Thanks again for your comment, and if you get around to seeing it, I hope you will enjoy the series 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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